Writer bios

We've heard from many women that mentors are essential to their flourishing, both personally and professionally. We've assembled a team of mentors to answer your questions about life, work, and relationships as a woman in the academy and professions. Read their perspectives in our Dear Mentor column.

Kathy Tuan-MacLean serves as Associate Director for InterVarsity’s Graduate & Faculty Ministries (GFM), supports the Boston Faculty Fellowship as its campus staff, and just celebrated her 25th year with InterVarsity. Kathy has a PhD in Human Development & Social Policy from Northwestern University. Her dissertation was on “The Interracial Friendships of White & Asian College Students,” a topic that capitalized on her passion for racial reconciliation. She’s married to Scott and has three children — one in college, the other two in high school. Her latest adventure in the blogosphere can be found at kmactuan.wordpress.com.

Steve Turley has been with GFM at Rice University since 2010, advising the Rice Graduate Christian Fellowship and the Jones (MBA) Christian Fellowship, and cultivating a Christian faculty network in greater Houston. He holds a BA in Economics from Stanford University, an MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and a PhD in History from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. In addition to GFM work, he has served as a lecturer in History at Rice University, and as Adjunct Assistant Professor in History at Fuller Theological Seminary - Texas. His first book was published in 2014 by Asghate, Franciscan Spirituality and Mission in New Spain, 1524-1599: Conflict Beneath the Sycamore Tree. Steve married Ruth Lopez in 1994, and they now have two sons together. Ruth serves as Associate Professor of Sociology at Rice.
 

Christine is the Divisional Director for the State of Indiana with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and has been on staff with InterVarsity for 18 years. She received her Master of Arts in Counseling Ministries from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and holds a BS in Elementary Education from Butler University. Christine has a passion for combining leadership development and spiritual formation in mentoring and coaching. In her spare time, Christine enjoys spending time with friends, reading historical fiction, attending Pilates classes, and being an aunt to her beautiful nieces. 

Jen Underwood lives in West Chicago, Illinois, with her husband, six kids (three biological, one adopted, and two international students), and a dog. After many years of teaching (middle-school through college), she is now working on a theology degree, blogging at jenunderwood.org, writing magazine and news articles for a Christian high school, and freelancing in any spare time. On her list of "likes" are interesting and thought-provoking books, walking in the woods, knitting, breadmaking, and spending rare moments of quiet with her husband. 

The author is a staff member at a large Christian university. She and her husband have one child.

Ashley is an ordained minister currently serving as a pastor for Graduate Christian Fellowship at the University of Washington. She lives in Seattle with her husband, lively young son, and their three ducks.

Michelle Van Loon is the author of four books, including Moments & Days: How Our Holy Celebrations Shape Our Faith. She writes for Christianity Today's CTWomen and maintains her own blog, Pilgrim's Road Trip, on the Patheos Evangelical channel. For more about Michelle, see her site: MichelleVanLoon.com.

Laura Veltman is an Associate Professor of English at California Baptist University in Riverside, California, where her teaching and research focuses on 19th and 20th century American literature. In her free time, she plays with her four-year-old and one-year-old while reminding herself that the housework will wait.

Ann Voskamp is a writer for DaySpring’s site (in)Courage, a contributing editor to Laity Lodge’s The High Calling, and a global advocate for the poor, traveling for Compassion International. With an educational background in psychology and education from York University and the University of Waterloo, Ann and her husband are farmers in the Mennonite countryside of southwestern Ontario, raising a half dozen kids, crops of corn, and the roof in praise. Her book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are is being published by Zondervan.

Annie Wald is the author of Walk with Me: Pilgrim’s Progress for Married Couples and blogs at AnnieWald.com. She is the former editor-in-chief of Princeton University Press, and her fiction has been published in numerous journals including Image, The Southern Review and The North American Review.  Since 2000, she has lived in Morocco where her husband is the pastor of a multinational, multidenominational fellowship of Christian believers.  They have two children and five delightful grandchildren.

Leslie Walker, MD, graduated from Wheaton College and the University of Michigan, where she received her MS in Neuroscience and her medical degree. She did her psychiatry residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She has been in solo practice since 2000, with particular interests in treating mood and anxiety disorders in women, work/family balance issues, and life transitions. Leslie also teaches psychiatry residents at Case Western Reserve University Hospital. She chairs the Women in Medicine and Dentistry Commission of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations. She and her husband, an academic physician, live near Cleveland and have two children.

Tish Harrison Warren is a priest in the Anglican Church in North America. After eight years with InterVarsity Graduate and Faculty Ministries, she now serves as Co-Associate Rector at Church of the Ascension in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She writes regularly for The Well, CT Women (formerly her.meneutics), and Christianity Today. Her work has also appeared in Comment Magazine, Christ and Pop Culture, Art House America, and elsewhere. She is author of Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life (IVP). She and her husband Jonathan have two young daughters.

Leonie Westenberg is a lecturer in theology at the University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney campus. She is currently writing her thesis on Mary as a type of the Feminine Genius. Her interests include literature, living the liturgical year, and women in education. Leonie lives in Sydney, Australia. She has seven sons and one cat. Leonie is a regular contributor to blogs and to several books on home education. She writes textbooks for middle school students, encouraging a love of literature and the development of critical thinking skills. Leonie blogs at Living Without School.

Stephanie White is a member of the English Language and Literature faculty at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario. She teaches writing and rhetoric while researching composition pedagogy and service-learning. She and her husband Andrew have a darling baby girl and very helpful neighbours.

Heather M. Whitney is assistant professor of physics at Wheaton College. After graduating from King College in Bristol, Tennessee, with a BS in physics and performing and visual arts, she received an MS in medical physics, an MS in physics, and PhD in physics from Vanderbilt University. Heather and her husband Joshua live in Wheaton, Illinois, where they enjoy running, cooking, and being unabashed nerds together.

Chief Financial Officer DeeDee Wilson is joining InterVarsity from Operation Mobilization USA (OM) where she was the CFO. Prior to OM, DeeDee served in leadership roles in Fortune 500 companies, including as the CFO of Nike USA, and was named one of CFO Magazine’s “Top 25 Women CFOs to Watch.”
 
DeeDee is passionate about Christ’s mission on campus. She has been a member of InterVarsity’s Women’s Advisory Council and her daughter serves as a campus staff minister with InterVarsity in New England.

Karen is an Associate Professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She received her PhD from Cornell University and was a W.K. Kellogg Community Based Health Scholar at the University of North Carolina School at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health. Her research interests are in minority health, translational research, community-based participatory research, and psychosocial aspects of health. She uses a community-based participatory approach to translate evidence-based behavioral interventions so they are appropriate for underserved groups.

A native of Taiwan, Tiffany was born and raised in a Christian family as a pastor’s kid. She moved to Madison, WI, in 2010 for a PhD in sociology, but ended up leaving with a master’s degree and and additional master’s degree in music (collaborative piano). She will move to Bloomington, Indiana, after getting married in the summer of 2014, where her husband will pursue a doctoral degree in orchestral conducting. Besides music, she enjoys chatting with friends over coffee, baking desserts, and grocery window shopping. 

Jayme Yeo has a PhD in English from Rice University and joined the English department of Belmont University in 2013. She specializes in seventeenth-century British devotional poetry, early modern political culture, and affect. Her current book project explores the affective and political dimensions of religious experience in early modern poetry. She teaches classes on British literature and academic writing, including one class that integrates poetry with community service and political activism.

Laura Meitzner Yoder directs the Program in Human Needs and Global Resources and is Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at Wheaton College, IL.  Her educational background includes a BA in Biology from Messiah College, an MPS in International Agriculture and Rural Development from Cornell University, and a PhD in Forestry and Environmental Studies from Yale University. She enjoys being in mountain forests, learning languages, and eating Asian food and tropical fruits. 

After spending several years as a writer with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Abigail Zimmer will begin working on her MFA in poetry at Columbia College Chicago. She likes Old English, the sassy blues of Janis Joplin, and futzing with cameras. She blogs on art and good people at offthefrontporch.wordpress.com.